Several dozen investigative journalists met in California over the weekend to discuss the Obama administration’s restrictions on press freedom—and how to fight back.
The invitation-only Logan Symposium drew reporters from ABC News, CNN, NBC News, The New York Times, PBS, The Washington Post and many other domestic and international media outlets. Several Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists attended the eighth annual event in Berkeley, Calif. The theme of the conference was “under attack,” The Daily Californian noted.
Former CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who spoke at the conference, shares an insider’s view of the meeting on her website.
Speakers included Lowell Bergman, the former “60 Minutes” producer whose investigation of the tobacco industry was featured in the movie “The Insider.” According to Attkisson, Bergman told the journalists they “have to take some more direct action, public action” to “raise the profile of what the government is doing or attempting to do.”
One of those speaking out is James Risen, a New York Times investigative reporter who has won two Pulitzer Prizes. Risen has clashed with the Obama administration over his refusal to reveal a confidential source.
“We’ve been too accepting of rules and mores of, first, the Bush administration and, now, the Obama administration,” Risen said, according to Attkisson’s report. “We have to stand up and begin to fight back … we need to think about how to challenge the government in the way we’re supposed to challenge the government.”
Speaking about the conference to Glenn Beck on his radio show, Attkisson said too many news organizations are abandoning stories or failing to challenge government officials. Her former employer, CBS News, wasn’t willing to fight for White House documents on the Benghazi terrorist attack, for instance.
Attkisson explained to Beck that some editors and producers are “so ideologically conflicted that they know there’s a story, but they really don’t want the story out there even when it’s fairly reported.”
Attkisson promised to share more details in a forthcoming book, “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”